Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Dean loses it.

As mentioned last night the head of the DNC has said the "idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong". complete story

I understand that we could lose the war. But to say we can't win. Wow. Just wow.


Blogger George W. Bush said...

MK said:

"I understand that we could lose the war"

Dean said:

"idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong"

I ask you, how is "losing" a war, any different from "not winning a war"? Aren't they the same thing?

I applaud Dean, he's right on the money, by claiming that we are losing, or can't win, he's being upfront and honest with the American people unlike Bush who called Iraq an "Amazing Success" and "Mission Accomplished". That bub is unbelievable.

I can't wait to see what sort of cherry bomb you pick for a rebuttal.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Listen to the tape. The remark was the capper to a point he was making about people who said that "if we just stay in Vietnam a little longer, we'll win." He repeats over and over again that failure of the Iraq strategy is due to Bush's failures as a leader. So, he's basically saying that there's no the Bush strategy will lead to victory (though he doesn't define victory).

You can not like his opinion, but I fail to see why it's such an astounding thing to say. That said, it's obvious why Republicans view it as a "gotcha" opportunity. It's exactly like when Kerry pounced on Bush for his rare moment of honesty when he said the war on terror cannot be won. It's exactly the same thing.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"I ask you, how is "losing" a war, any different from "not winning a war"? Aren't they the same thing?"

MK's point is that he recognizes the possibility of losing, but thinks it's nutty for the head of the Democratic Party to state categorically that we're going to lose. I think the context of the interview shows pretty clearly that the categorical nature of the statement referred to the impossibility of Bush winning the war, but that's just me.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

mkchicago and I were throwing this around last night at Abra's as sort of a sidebar. We discussed it then, and he seems to have generated something resembling a discussion here, but I still don't see what he's saying. A reaction of "Wow. Just wow." clearly transmits to us that mk feels pretty passionately SOMETHING about Dean's comments; the brevity of his post implies he feels Dean has so breathtakingly crossed the line, words won't do justice to the outrage he feels at this screwball's comments.

Help us out here. For saying "idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong", is Howard Dean:

1.) Treasonous? So you're pulling an Ann Coulter: Dean is materially aiding and abeting The Enemy[tm] by dissenting with the President on the certainty of victory. Please, work that out for us, I'd love to read it.

2.) Immoral? I don't even know how to work out this angle, but I doubt this is how you'd play it anyway. Basically, what, the terrorists are the force of evil, and Dean implying they'd "beat us" is... I don't know, I can't make it work.

3.) Irresponsible? Maybe it goes like this: the Chairman of the second-biggest US political party has overstepped the bounds of good taste and political sensibility by actually uttering such a statement, whether he truly thinks it or not? I don't buy that one - he's not an elected official, and it wasn't presented as some sort of statement of policy. He's not beholden to whatever unwritten public laws of good taste that elected officials break all the time anyway. Who fucking cares what Howard Dean thinks about someone's ideas?

4.) Wrong? Well, whatever, that is yet to be seen. The architects of this war have offered only vague guidelines for determining "victory," so who knows if it will ever be achieved?

And the "war" in Iraq is the Central Front On The War On Terror, right, so you have to "win" that "war" also, in order to claim "victory," and therefore prove Howard Dean is wrong, right?

5.) Political Suicide? When you told me about this, I figured it was some political play. He's the party chairman, right? So is it "Wow. Just wow." because he's taking a giant political gamble and announcing the Official Democratic Party position is one of defeat? Well, if the popularity of The War is any indicator, it looks pretty politically shrewd to me.

6.) Too cynical, too out of bounds for US politics? Please.

7.) Intentionally warping the minds of Americans, turning them agianst the war with his opinions? I don't know how Howard Dean on AM radio is really going to sway public opinion. People say he's pretty charismatic, but I don't really see it.

8.) (Insert real answer here)

I read today that the President has responded to Dean's comments. I'll be interested to follow this in the papers and blogs, and especially on - where San Antonio turns for all their news, weather and traffic.

7:06 PM  
Blogger mkchicago said...

'"I ask you, how is "losing" a war, any different from "not winning a war"? Aren't they the same thing?

MK's point is that he recognizes the possibility of losing, but thinks it's nutty for the head of the Democratic Party to state categorically that we're going to lose.'

Thank you for the laundry list of options . It makes my life so much easier. I'll have the 3,4 and 5 special with eggroll.

Point 3: If we assume for the sake of argument that this is in fact a nutty statement, then yes I don't think the chairman of a major political party should be saying it. I get the impression that you regard that post as being an irrelevant mouthpiece/fundraiser.I guess I simply think it's a more prominent (promulent?) position.

Point 4: I think you're a little bogged down on definitions. While I agree it's important to define terms , I think you're getting a little hyper-technical. I believe there is a general consensus defining "winning" as an Iraqi run government/security structure, friendly to the US that has (relative to mid-east standards) stability. We could nit-pick that definition, but broadly speaking I think that it is winning as most(many?) people would define it. And I think Dean is wrong for saying it's not even in the realm of possibility.

With regard to # 5, I wouldn't call it suicide, but definetly not smart politically:

"Several Democrats joined President Bush yesterday in rebuking Dean's declaration to a San Antonio radio station Monday that "the idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong."

The critics said that comment could reinforce popular perceptions that the party is weak on military matters and divert attention from the president's growing political problems on the war and other issues. "Dean's take on Iraq makes even less sense than the scream in Iowa: Both are uninformed and unhelpful," said Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), recalling Dean's famous election-night roar after stumbling in Iowa during his 2004 presidential bid.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) and Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (Md.), the second-ranking House Democratic leader, have told colleagues that Pelosi's recent endorsement of a speedy withdrawal, combined with her claim that more than half of House Democrats support her position, could backfire on the party, congressional sources said.

These sources said the two leaders have expressed worry that Pelosi is playing into Bush's hands by suggesting Democrats are the party of a quick pullout -- an unpopular position in many of the most competitive House races."
wapo article

8:59 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I agree with MK that it wasn't smart politically, but that's par for the course with Dean. He could have said "the idea that we're going to win this war with Bush in command is wrong," and that would have been a more accurate form of what he was saying given the context; it also wouldn't have necessarily implied what I'm sure both the good doctor and I believe, which is that Iraq is going to dissolve into civil war regardless of when we go, and our continued presence is likely fanning the flames, no matter who the president is. Democrats are a long way from manipulating language with the same level of skill as Republicans. Vigorous Republican efforts to use Dean as a wedge in the recent New Jersey and Virginia elections appeared to have no effect whatsoever, which is understandable given the fact that the vast majority of Americans neither know nor care who the party chiefs are, even in the case of a high profile chief like Dean.

Dean is without a doubt the right guy for the job he's in. The sole purpose of the party chiefs is to raise money, and he's already raising around twice as much as McAuliff did during the last comparable cycle, and possibly more, since much of the fundraising is going directly to the state party committees, where it doesn't get counted as part of the national war chest. He's also rapidly shifting the source of those dollars away from corporations and towards small individual donors, which is the kind of image the party needs to project against a Republican party that has grown fat and corrupt off of K Street. He's welcome to keep putting his foot in his mouth every few months as far as I'm concerned, provided he keeps raking in the dough. I think you Republicans once expressed a similar sentiment about a certain Texas governor.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

One last thing: Seeing Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer denounce Dean in the press means something a whole lot different to freaks like me who follow internal Democratic politics closely. Those two in particular are fighting a rear-guard action against the netroots activists whose power is increasing within the party, and whose first victory was getting Dean elected. They represent the "ad consultant" wing of the party (Bob Shrum, residual Clintonites, et al.), which consists of the professional election losers who have dominated it for the last 20 years. The ad consultant wing is just barely hanging on, and the worse it's gotten for them, the more vicious their internal attacks have become. Since they can't beat Republicans, they have to be content with trying to beat Democrats who don't think like they do.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

Rahm Emanuel is a pathetic republicrat elected solely on his Clinton connections and his fund-raising credentials. I have met him and he's a first-rate asshole, and fits the "ad consultant" template Jeff describes above.

4:25 PM  

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